Week One Studs and Duds
In just a few hours, the 2013 season will officially begin. Every Thursday over the course of the season, I will provide a list of players I think will perform poorly and also those who I think will help their fantasy owners a great deal. I sometimes find the first week of fantasy to be the trickiest because you don’t really know how a team’s offense is going to look. It’s hard to get a handle on what the offense will do in the preseason since everything is so watered down. For example, teams like the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins didn’t show anything in the read option in the preseason even though it’s fairly likely that the read option will be a focal point of all three offenses this year. There are also other questions about how new acquisitions will fit in with their new teams, such as Wes Welker and the Broncos. With that being said, here are 5 studs and 5 duds for week 1. Good luck everyone!
- Tony Romo-Vastly underrated in fantasy, and for some reason, he always seems to play well against the Giants, with multiple 300+ yard games recently. I think this game could be a shootout, and shootouts are great for fantasy quarterbacks. Prediction: 315 yards passing and 3 passing TDs
- Alfred Morris-He has a very enticing match-up against an Eagles D that looked horrible in the preseason. Plus, I don’t think Shanahan will have many designed runs for RG3, and that should mean more carries for Morris. Also, don’t forget that the Eagles will be trying to push the pace in Chip Kelly’s offense, so if the Redskins want to keep that offense off the field, there’s no better way to do that than by running the ball consistently, especially if the Philly run D can’t stop them. Add all of these factors up and I think Morris will provide one of the bigger fantasy lines in week 1. Prediction: 120 yards rushing, 2 TDs.
- Michael Vick-He’s healthy for now and I don’t think the Washington defense is a top-flight unit. Chip Kelly probably has a ton of tricks up his sleeve to debut in the opener, and I think that this game will end up being a high-scoring affair. Plus, everyone remembers what happened last time Vick faced the Redskins on Monday Night Football, right? Prediction: 300 yards passing, 40 yards rushing, 2 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD.
- Calvin Johnson-Not much of a shock to see him on this list, is it? He has a nice, tantalizing match-up at home against the Vikings, and nobody in their secondary should be able to stop Megatron from running wild. I expect the Lions to be throwing all day, much like they did last year. Johnson will open up the year with a bang. Prediction: 9 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD.
- Vernon Davis-I am going to buy into the hype this year, and especially early in the season while Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham work their way back from injury. Davis is a match-up nightmare, as he is too fast for linebackers and too strong for safeties. He really came on strong in the playoffs last year, and I see that continuing, especially against the Packers. The Packers have a pretty good secondary, so they may be able to slow down Boldin and the other Niners receivers, but I don’t think they can slow down Davis. He probably has the best chance of all of my week one studs to turn into a dud. Prediction: 7 receptions, 95 yards, 1 TD.
- Cam Newton-Even though Seattle is on the road, I automatically downgrade most skill players facing that hellacious defense. While they are missing Bruce Irvin due to suspension and probably Chris Clemons as he recovers from ACL surgery, the defense should still be able to have its way with the Panthers. Cam is usually a must start….except when he is facing a defense of this caliber. If you have a solid backup option, I’d strongly consider it. Prediction: 250 yards passing, 1 passing TD, 0 rushing TDs.
- Eddie Lacy-While he will get most of the carries for the Packers, the Niners run defense has been one of the best in football for the past two years and I expect that to continue. Plus, the Niners showed major weaknesses in the secondary last year in the playoffs and are starting a rookie safety in Eric Reid, so I’m sure Aaron Rodgers will pick on him as much as possible. Lacy might be more valuable later in the season, but this is one match-up to avoid. Prediction: 60 yards rushing, 15 yards receiving, 0 TDs.
- Rashard Mendenhall-Supposedly healthy, but I’m not sure even someone like Adrian Peterson could break out running behind the Arizona offensive line. He also faces a very underrated and very good Rams front 7, on the road. I just can’t see how Mendenhall does much of anything this game. At best, maybe he will poach a 2 yard TD run. In what may become a recurring theme, avoid starting him this week. Prediction: 50 yards rushing, 10 yards receiving, 0 TDs.
- Mike Wallace-I drafted him in my keeper league, but he is staying on my bench for this week. He will probably be matched up with Joe Haden, and that alone usually spells trouble for the opposition. He hasn’t looked in synch with Ryan Tannehill yet, so I would rather keep him on my bench for now until the chemistry shows. If he shows signs of life, I will gladly insert him into my lineup, but if you have better options, I wouldn’t start him this week. Prediction: 4 receptions, 45 yards, 0 TDs.
- Any Jets player-I would normally list one player here, but I just couldn’t resist. The Tampa Bay D is going to be vastly improved this year, especially after the additions of Revis and Goldson. Combine that ferocious D with a Jets offense that has next to no weapons AND is starting a rookie QB who looked like he should have been back in college, and it’s a recipe for disaster. This could be even uglier than the 34-0 thrashing they received at the hands of the Niners last year. It’s certainly possible that the Jets may never cross midfield if they have drives that start in their own territory. Prediction: two long field goals, multiple turnovers, and at least one defensive TD for Tampa Bay.